Agave & Aloe

Agave and Aloe

Plant Profile

The name succulent may be a bit deceptive – I assure you, these plants do not suck! At first sight, the spines of some agave and aloe might cause a fright, but don’t underestimate how easily they will dazzle your garden. A visit to the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, Ruth Bancroft Garden, or San Francisco Botanical Garden will help seal the deal for cultivating, renewing, or inspiring your love of landscaping with succulents and cacti. Our selection of succulents and cacti will blow your socks off. Stop by; we’d be delighted to see you and share our passion for these bold, dramatic, striking specimens.  


Agave flower inflorescence

From stiff to delicate, compact to giant, spiny to smooth these succulents are a welcome addition to many gardens for the dramatic display they offer. In general, they love the sun and prefer well-drained soil with infrequent to no added irrigation once established. They look amazing in a mass planting or in a mixed bed of other agaves, yucca, cacti, and succulents. Most agave will die after they flower, but only the rosette from which the flower inflorescence emerged will wither while the remaining rosettes will flourish.  

Agave parryi var truncata

Agave parryi var. truncata

  • A compact agave with the look of an artichoke.  
  • Reaches around 2’ tall and 3’-4’ wide
  • Takes about ten years to flower (When it does, it’ll impress you beyond belief!)  
  • Flower stalk reaches up to 15’ tall with dense clusters of yellow flowers


Hummingbirds love Aloe flowers

Most species of aloe prefer partial to full sun. They thrive in well-drained, sandy-loam soil with occasional to infrequent irrigation. Planting them on a mound or slope will help with drainage issues. When in bloom, hummingbirds and bees love to frequent them, and deer will generally leave them be. They range in size, shape, and hardiness, so be sure to ask one of our helpful staff for advice on choosing the best one for your needs. Not all species of aloe have medicinal or edible properties; educate yourself before you ingest or soothe your sunburn.  

Aloe Ferox

Aloe ferox - Cape Aloe 

  • Evergreen 
  • Forms a dense rosette of blue-green, sometimes rose-tinged, lance-shaped leaves  
  • Generally reaches 6’-9’ tall and 3’-5’ wide 
  • Long-lasting, bright red-orange, tubular flowers are held above the foliage in a large candelabra shaped inflorescence with multiple flowering branches winter through spring
Torch Aloe

Aloe arborescens - Torch Aloe

This aloe has a host of medicinal uses.  It is useful in treating burns, has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. In the landscape, it will mature into a multibranched shrub 6’ tall and wide or larger. Useful as a screen, living fence, or a specimen to admire. Winter blooms add interest when your garden may otherwise be dull.

Ali White 
Garden Center Manager

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